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(môrĭs`kōz) [Span.,=Moorish], Moors converted to Christianity after the Christian reconquest (11th–15th cent.) of Spain. The Moors who had become subjects of Christian kings as the reconquest progressed to the 15th cent. were called Mudéjares. They remained Muslim, and their religion and customs were generally respected. After the fall of Granada (1492), Cardinal Jiménez converted many Moors by peaceful means. However, the rigorous treatment of those who refused conversion or apostatized from the new faith led to an uprising (1500–1502) in Granada. This was soon suppressed. Faced with choosing between conversion or banishment, the majority accepted conversion, but many continued secretly to practice Islam. The Moriscos at times provided the Ottoman Turks with information facilitating Turkish raids on the Spanish coast. Persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition and subjected to restrictive legislation (1526, 1527), the Moriscos rose in a bloody rebellion (1568–71), which Philip II put down with the help of John of Austria. The Moriscos prospered in spite of persecutions and furthered Spanish agriculture, trade, and industries. However, in 1609 Philip III, influenced by Lerma, decreed their expulsion for both religious and political reasons.


See H. C. Lea, The Moriscos of Spain (1901, repr. 1969).



the members of the Muslim population who remained in Spain after the fall of the emirate of Granada in 1492.

Forcibly converted to Christianity, the majority of Moriscos continued to profess Islam in secret. They were harshly persecuted by the Inquisition and were forbidden to use Arabic or to give their children Arabic names; Arabic books were burned. Tens of thousands of Moriscos perished on the pyres of the Inquisition.

The Morisco rebellion of 1568–70 was ruthlessly crushed, and a considerable number of Moriscos were exiled to the barren interior of Spain. In 1609–10 the Moriscos were expelled from Spain. The majority resettled in North Africa; in Morocco they formed the oligarchic republic of Bou Regreg, which existed from 1627 to 1641, while many others settled along the Algerian coast and in northern Tunisia.

The expulsion of the Moriscos had grave economic consequences for Spain’s southern provinces. At the same time it contributed to the rise of horticulture, irrigated cultivation, and craft industries in Tunisia.

References in periodicals archive ?
And in part two, when Ricote offers to pay Sancho two hundred gold pieces to assist him in recovering his treasure, we can read Cervantes drawing an astonishingly complex and critical parallel between the exile of the Moriscos and the outflow of good money from Spain: mutually reinforcing socially immoral and economically unwise policies (2.
11) Slaves included Slavs, Circassians, and Tartars captured from along the Black Sea who came through Italian markets into Spain; the conquest of the Canary Islands brought enslaved guanches; later in the sixteenth century, thousands of Spanish moriscos were enslaved; and Portuguese imperial ventures brought slaves from as far afield as Goa and Kozhikode.
Scholarship on the Mudejars and Moriscos has drawn on a limited number of legal responsa in order to describe the status of Muslims in Spain and to characterize their social life and relationships with Christian authorities.
Intriguingly, Wheatcroft (2003) recounted that the removal of the moriscos from Christian Spain coincided with the lowest level of the real, or imagined, threat from the Ottomans in the Mediterranean.
Moroccan journalist Ahmed Bensalh Es-salhi wrote an op-ed in Correo DiplomA tico, in which he lamented that the "decision to grant Spanish citizenship to the grandchildren of the Hebrews in Spain in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while ignoring the Moriscos, the grandsons of the Muslims, is without doubt, flagrant segregation and unquestionable discrimination, as both communities suffered equally in Spain at that time.
The Conversos and Moriscos in late medieval Spain and beyond; the Morisco issue.
dissertation, Emory University, 2003); Ben Vinson III, Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, 2001); Ben Vinson III, "Race and Badge: Free-Colored Soldiers in the Colonial Mexican Militia," The Americas 56:4 (2000); Ben Vinson III, "Studying Race from the Margins: The 'Forgotten Castes' - Lobos, Moriscos, Coyotes, Moros, and Chinos in the Colonial Mexican Caste System," in International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World (Harvard University: 2000).
Fuchs thus eschews transhistorical temptations in order to offer a more synchronic analysis of how Spain's own relationship to its Moorishness changed during the years between the 1492 fall of Granada and the expulsion of Spain's Moriscos in 1609.
Although some Moriscos were sincere followers of Jesus, many more continued their secret devotions after the manner of the Prophet Muhammed, much to the consternation of Spanish and Portuguese authorities.
The book also details the persecution of Jews and Muslims--and conversos (Jewish converts) and Moriscos (Muslim converts)--as part of Spanish concern with purity of blood and national identity.
The majority of somewhere between three and eight hundred thousand Moriscos fled to Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, while some crossed into France but were later expelled, and others migrated via Genoa to the Eastern Mediterranean and settled in Istanbul.